Water Summary Update: July and August wettest months so far in 2016

Written by Theresa Rose on September 1, 2016

DES MOINES— July and August have easily been the two wettest months of 2016, and have continued to improve the overall hydrologic condition of the state. The National Drought Monitor has removed areas of moderate drought from Iowa, and less than 6 percent of the state is shown as “abnormally dry” – continuing the improvement that been occurring over the last several weeks.

The northeast and northwest corners of the state experienced very different conditions over the past two weeks. Decorah received nearly a foot of rain, while counties in the northwest corner of the state received less than half the normal rainfall for this period.

Most of Iowa recorded above normal precipitation over the two weeks ending 7 a.m. Aug. 30. The major event of the period was the heavy rains and flooding across far northeast Iowa on the night of Aug. 23. Rain totals reached 8.46 inches five miles southeast of Decorah during this event. Rain totals for the two-week period varied from 0.28 inches at Akron to 11.51 inches southeast of Decorah. The statewide average precipitation was 2.65 inches, while normal for the period is 1.85 inches.

Streamflow conditions remain above normal for most of the state. Streams in the northeast, east and southeast portions of the state have moved into much above normal, or even high conditions. The previous peak of record was surpassed at the Upper Iowa River near Dorchester, and at the Turkey River at Spillville.

For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, go to www.iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate.

The report is prepared by the technical staff from the Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering and the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department and the National Weather Service.